Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Tale of Two Cities

I was in a cab on the way home, thinking how I really ought to just break down and buy a bike, when I started thinking about why it is in Chengdu I've only ever been driven by one female cabbie whereas in Suzhou and Shanghai they were commonplace. Is it something about that Shanghai/Jiangsu culture of "soft men" that allows women to more easily enter traditionally male-dominated professions? Or is it simply more demand for more jobs that sends everybody--men and women--scrambling for more work?

On the other hand, female bus drivers are commonplace in both Chengdu and Suzhou--in fact, I feel like there might even be more female bus drivers than male. In Los Angeles, this might also have been true, but I never encountered a female cabbie there or elsewhere in the States, though, granted, I rarely encountered cabs, period.

It would be interesting to know what the comparison is like in other cities--thinking back, of all the cabs I remember taking in cities like Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Wuhan, Hong Kong ... all the cabbies were men, but I took very few cabs in each of those cities.

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